Day 342: Bullitt (1968)

bullitt-car-chaseThere are films that I truly believe that people need to see before they die or before they end a challenge. I found one of those films that believe it or not I have never seen in Bullitt which is today’s film. Steve McQueen (The Magnificent Seven) plays no holds barred cop Bullitt who is really good at his job. That is until one day when a government witness who was put under his protection was killed. Now he’ll dive head first into the criminal underworld to try and catch the guys who did this especially with the DA (Robert Vaughn) breathing down his neck. The film also stars Jacqueline Bisset (Murder On The Orient Express) as Cathy, Don Gordon (Lethal Weapon) as Delgetti, Simon Oakland (West Side Story) as Captain Sam Bennett, Norman Fell (Three’s Company) as Captain Baker, Robert Duvall (The Godfather: Part II) as Weissberg, Georg Stanford Brown (Stir Crazy) as Dr. Willard, Felice Orlandi (Another 48 Hrs.) as Albert Renick, Pat Renella (Moonchild) as Johnny Ross, Vic Tayback (Papillon) as Pete Ross, Justin Tarr (The Rat Patrol) as Eddy, Carl Reindel (Tora! Tora! Tora!) as Carl Stanton, Ed Peck (Heaven Can Wait) as Westcott, John Aprea (The Game) as the killer, Paul Genge (The FBI Story) as Mike, and the film was directed by Peter Yates (Krull).

bullitt-charger-mustang-1I am certainly glad that I get to cross this one off the list and one question for all of you. Why is it that San Francisco had all the bad ass cops from Bullitt to Dirty Harry? I am not complaining, but that is where they seem to come from back in the late 60’s and 70’s. One of the coolest sequences of the film is definitely the car chase scene with Bullitt’s 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback and the bad guy’s 1968 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum which is a slight bit faster than the stang. The chase scene really made you feel like you were in the car with McQueen and the camera angles from inside the vehicle with him. That definitely sets him part from everyone else and very cool to have in the film.The foot chase towards the end of the film was also pretty good and suspenseful, but not like the car chase (Obviously).  It was great to see Jacqueline Bisset who was definitely the eye candy for the film and for the most part the film contained good acting. McQueen was the strong silent type who when he needs to, he’ll tell you like it is. Besides the car chase scene, the cinematography is pretty decent in the film and the writing was OK. The film is pretty bad ass, but it is what it is and you understand that going in. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 320: Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

grosse-point-blankOne of my all time favorite actors from the 80’s is John Cusack who starred in such great films as Say Anything…, Tapeheads, One Crazy Summer, and even High Fidelity. So, I was cruising through Netflix trying to decide on a film when I came across Grosse Pointe Blank and decided on it for today. Martin Blank (Cusack) is a professional hitman who has sort of lost his way and just needs to be found or at least realize what he wants out of life. Against his intuition, he goes back home to Detroit where he’ll attend his ten year high school reunion. While there, he runs into his old high school sweetheart Debbie Newberry (Minnie Driver) that he ran out on ten years before and he decides to try and fix that relationship while letting go of his lifestyle. The film also stars Joan Cusack (Working Girl) as Marcela, Alan Arkin (Argo) as Dr. Oatman, Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) as Grocer, Jeremy Piven (Smokin’ Aces) as Paul Spericki, Hank Azaria (Mystery Men) as Steven Lardner, K. Todd Freeman (The Cider House Rules) as Kenneth McCullers, Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) as Bob Destepello, Mitchell Ryan (Lethal Weapon) as Mr. Bart Newberry, and the film was directed by George Armitage (Miami Blues).

john-cusackThere are things you should know about getting into a John Cusack film that is starring him and one is that Joan Cusack is probably in the film. The second one that you can expect is that the soundtrack to the film is probably incredible so you should pay attention to that. The film featured cuts from amazing bands like Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure for example. The other thing you should expect from a Cusack film is that Cusack is going to be stealing the show by commanding the screen with his underdog like qualities. No matter the role, you are rooting for him to succeed and that is what I love about his films. This one adds the element that he is a professional assassin which means we get some bad ass action sequences in the film as well. The film itself is absolutely awesome and definitely a film I wish I had seen a heck of a lot sooner than I did. I really loved the fact that Alan Arkin was in the film as the scared psychiatrist who has to continuously deal with Cusack’s character throughout the film. It adds to the overall comedy of the film and Dan Aykroyd definitely does that as the rival hitman. So you can definitely see all the crazy directions this film goes, but it’s enjoyable because the story is awesome. Everybody normal hates the idea of going back to a high school reunion, but hey that’s how it goes. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because the acting was great and the soundtrack is amazing.

Day 264: Colors (1988)

colors3I have said this many times and I say it because it’s absolutely true. There are some instances where a film sneaks right by you and somehow later on you wonder why you’ve never seen it. That was definitely the case for today’s film which is the Los Angeles gang violence film Colors. Robert Duvall (Days Of Thunder) plays CRASH officer Bob Hodges, a man with one year left until he gets his pension from the LAPD. Sean Penn (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) plays hot shot CRASH rookie Danny McGavin who gets paired with Hodges after a gang member is murdered in a drive by. The two are on the streets as they try to investigate the murder while trying to keep gang violence between the Bloods and Crips to a low. The film also stars Maria Conchita Alonso (The Lords Of Salem) as Louisa Gomez, Randy Brooks (Reservoir Dogs) as Ron Delaney, Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) as Rocket, Damon Wayans (Major Payne) as T-Bone, Trinidad Silva (UHF) as Frog, Glenn Plummer (South Central) as High Top, Grand L. Bush (Lethal Weapon) as Larry, Gerardo Mejía (Can’t Buy Me Love) as Bird, Courtney Gains (Children Of The Corn) as Whitey, and the film was directed by Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider).

giphyI know that the film is not really a coming of age movie, but I think that it’s a point that could be legitimately argued. Think about it for a second, what is the definition of coming of age? According to Google, “a coming-of-age story is a genre of literature and film that focuses on the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood (“coming of age”). Coming-of-age stories tend to emphasize dialogue or internal monologue over action, and are often set in the past.” While the film isn’t set in the past, you do see Sean Penn go in a s this hot shot rookie on the CRASH force who just wants to bust heads and kick ass. Then when the going gets a little tough and something happens to his partner, he begins to realize what he was doing wrong and he changes for the better. In my opinion, that could be a coming-of-age story. This was one of those films that was trying to show you just how bad things were in Los Angeles as we would eventually see Boyz N the Hood, South Central, Menace II Society, and so many more films that focused on the issues. Robert Duvall and Sean Penn were both equally amazing in the film as they were almost the perfect pair. The cinematography in this film was superb in my opinion as they captured some amazing shots of East LA and Los Angeles. I had to get used to the fact that Damon Wayans was in this movie, but the role was perfect for him as he played T-Bone who is basically a junkie. This is definitely a film that must have opened people’s eyes to what was going on in the world and the problem that is gang violence. I definitely recommend this one and that is why I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 140: Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Dirty GrandpaI love dirty raunchy comedies just as much as the next guy if you have noticed from the list of films I have seen in the past. So, I was super excited to see that Robert De Niro (Goodfellas) and Zac Efron (Neighbors) were going to be starring together in Dirty Grandpa which is today’s film. Jason Kelly (Efron) is a sort of successful corporate lawyer who is about to get married to what seems like the perfect girl. After losing his grandma, Jason agrees to take his now single Grandfather Dick Kelly (De Niro) down to Boca, Florida to see an old friend and try to make it back in time for his wedding. No the keyword there is if he makes it back in time for the wedding because things get complicated when his Grandpa gets horny and he sees an old college friend. The film also stars Zoey Deutch (Everybody Wants Some!) as Shadia, Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) as Lenore, Jason Mantzoukas (Neighbors) as Tan Pam, Dermot Mulroney (Insidious: Chapter 3) as David Kelly, Julianne Hough (Footloose) as Meredith, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Grave Encounters 2) as Bradley, Brandon Smith (Gridiron Gang) as Tyrone, Adam Pally (Iron Man 3) as Cousin Nick, Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon) as Stinky, and the film was directed by Dan Mazer (Brüno).

dirty-grandpaAs far as the film is concerned, I love the idea of it and I love the people who star in the film for the most part. I just don’t think it’s the greatest comedy ever, but it’s a good one. I say that because at one point I thought the film was too long even though it said it was about 108 minutes (that’s 1 hour and 48 minutes for those who need to know). There’s a lot of stuff in the film that was just pointless that they threw in to try and make you laugh and then there was the stuff that was golden that made you laugh. Robert De Niro was great in the film and he had great chemistry with Efron and even Plaza when they did have scenes that they interacted in. I even thought Zoey Deutch (who I found out is the daughter of Lea Thompson) was even great in the film and her chemistry with Efron was on point. I just thought of plenty of stuff that I would have cut out that would save you ten minutes. I never saw the theatrical version of the film, I watched this which was the Unrated version which should always be raunchier, but Zac Efron has by this point grown on me and I am willing to forgive him for his Disney past. I am excited to see him in Neighbors 2, but I can definitely say that this one could be a contender for Comedy of the year when the Monster Entertainment Awards happen next year. With that being said, I definitely think that it’s a film that is worth checking out if you are a fan of comedies and especially De Niro in comedies. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 72: Diablo (2015)

dia11-600x420For today’s film, I chose to watch a western because of the love my father has for the original American folklore that is Westerns. Not to mention that the film stars Scott Eastwood (Fury) who is the son of legendary Western actor Clint Eastwood. Eastwood plays Civil War vet Jackson, a man with a lot of skeletons in his closet. Nevertheless, he is sent on a crazy journey as his wife was kidnapped by Mexicans so it is up to him to try and save her before it’s too late. Although, the journey to save his wife is going to prove to be more dangerous than he expected. The film also stars Walton Goggins (House Of 1000 Corpses) as Ezra, Camilla Belle (The Lost World: Jurassic Park) as Alexsandra, Adam Beach (Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser) as Nakoma, Samuel Marty (Fargo) as Ishani, José Zúñiga (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) as Guillermo, Tzi Ma (The Lady Killers) as Quok Mi, Joaquim de Almeida (Clear And Present Danger) as Arturo, Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon) as Benjamin Carver, Greg Lawson (The Legend Of Butch And Sundance) as Timothy, Yaniv Bercovitz (Rude Boy-The Movie) as Jeremiah, and the film was directed by Lawrence Roeck (The Forger). 

Diablo4I wanted to go into the film thinking that it was going to be one heck of a western only because of who Scott Eastwood’s father was. The sad fact is that no one will ever be Clint Eastwood again in the world of Westerns. Now by me saying that doesn’t necessarily mean that I hated the movie, it’s quite the contrary. I call it the tale of two different films and what I mean by that is that the first half of the film is actually quite boring and a little confusing. They go through scenes without really explaining much and characters all of sudden disappear and such. The second half of the film is when it gets really good because your perception of Scott Eastwood’s character drastically changes and he becomes more bad ass than before. Walter Goggins plays a very vital role in this film especially when it has to do with Eastwood’s character and all will be revealed when you watch the film for yourself. Goggins does a terrific job in the film playing what you believe to be the antagonist of the film until the film goes all Fight Club on us. And I don’t mean soap bars, fights, and Brad Pitt when I say that, but you’ll see what I mean. Like I said, if you’re expecting cool lines and action like a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western then turn around now, but you’ll have to want to watch the whole film to get to the good parts. I thought it was an OK film which is why I am going to give the film an B-/C+ for a final grade. It’s borderline between the two grades.